A well-deserved victory for BC forests

As the people of BC suffer through one of the worst fire seasons on record, we
get the good news of a major victory for the forests of BC. The Liberal govern
ment of BC has dropped its “Working Forests” proposal that could have opened op
ened nearly half of BC’s forests to industrial logging on an unprecdented scale.

The good folks at Western Canada Wilderness Committee provide [the skinny](http

>Under the previous Working Forest proposal (BC Governments Working Forest Discussion Paper, Jan. 2003), the government would have:

>* Rescinded the Provincial Forest. This would have eliminated the Ministry of
Forests from most decisions regarding Crown land sell-offs to private real estate developers (ie. streamlined the sell-off of public lands), and also nullified the legislative barrier in the Forest Act which forbids the sale of Crown lands for forestry purposes.

>* Established a Cabinet order in council which would legally designate the Working Forest in the place of the Provincial Forest. This order in council would define the purpose of the Working Forest as to provide landbase certainty for the forestry sector and ensure all landuse decisions included economic assessments of the highest and best use of the land (a proposition that could undermine endangered species and water quality protection in many parts of the province).

>* Establish guaranteed logging zones, known as Timber Targets, through Cabinet
orders in councils.

>Under the current plan:

>* The Provincial Forest will remain.

>* There will be no Working Forest order in council. ie. it will not have any legal implementation.

>* Timber Targets that arise from regional land-use plans will remain policy. There are no current plans to make them legally-binding through Cabinet orders in councils, although the government reserves the right to implement the Timber Targets in the future.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Like so many “victories” these days, this is a win on defense. But still w
orthy of celebrating.

2) The BC Liberals give “liberalism” a bad name. They’re neither liberal, nor p

3) Western Canada Wilderness Committee is doing a nice job of publishing news s
tories instead of press releases. In fact, most of the lead content on their s
ite now consists of bylined news stories, presented in blog-like format.